How Bengals, Joseph Ossai Reacted To Game-Losing Penalty

'Didn't come down to that'


January 29

The Cincinnati Bengals were just seconds away from forcing overtime in their AFC Championship matchup the Kansas City Chiefs.

Then Joseph Ossai happened.

With the game knotted at 20 in the closing seconds, the Chiefs needed about 15 yards to get into Harrison Butker’s range for a potential game-winning field goal. Patrick Mahomes broke loose on a third-and-4 and got first down yardage before stepping out of bounds. Unfortunately for the Bengals, that is where he was met by Ossai, who shoved Mahomes from behind before being called for unnecessary roughness.

The penalty pushed Kansas City to the Cincinnati 27-yard line, where Butker would knock a field goal through to send the Chiefs to Super Bowl LVII.

The play was as costly as it gets, but the Bengals made it clear they weren’t blaming Ossai for the loss postgame.

“We’re not going to make it about one play,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said, as seen on CBS’s postgame coverage. “There were plenty of plays that we left out on the field today that could have put us in a better position.

“It’s tough. One play. Didn’t come down to that.”

Ossai was visibly upset. After appearing to injure his knee on the play, he was eventually helped over to the Cincinnati bench where teammate Cam Sample attempted to console him.

“(My teammate’s support) means the world to me,” Ossai said postgame, per video from NFL Media’s Mike Giardi. “These guys mean a lot to me. We come into every game, we work hard for each other. To know that they have my back, it’s extremely — it’s giving me peace right now.”

The Chiefs will take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12.

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